Sheriff Joe Arpaio phases out in-person visits in Maricopa

by Bernadette Rabuy, November 10, 2014

Video visitation at Maricopa County, AZ jails has seemed fishy from the beginning. At first, Sheriff Joe Arpaio cut back visitation last December, just in time for the holiday season. The sheriff’s spokeswoman told the Phoenix New Times that the cut from three 30-minute visits per week to one 30-minute visit per week was necessary in order to “update/improve MCSO’s video visitation program.” What she didn’t mention was that, one week later, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office would announce its plan to get rid of the remaining face-to-face visits in Maricopa that still existed in half of Maricopa’s six jails.

As of last Monday, Sheriff Joe has completely phased out in-person visits in all Maricopa jails. Families and friends now have two options: travel to the jail and visit their incarcerated loved one via a video screen or schedule a remote visit (using a personal computer) for a fee. The confusion doesn’t stop there. While Securus, the provider of video visitation services in Maricopa, is currently offering promotional pricing for remote video visits at 25 cents a minute, this price will only last until the end of the year. So by January, those visits are going to cost 65 cents a minute.

5 Responses

  1. Rallie F. Cruz says, 54 minutes after publication:

    Anything and anyway to make money. If they find it lucrative to apprehend jaywalkers and financially penalize them and make the yellow warning traffic lights change faster than three seconds, who would ever be surprised?

  2. Desiree O. says, 1 day, 14 hours after publication:

    I am one of the mother’s of an incarcerated child in the LBJ. I have been visiting my son via video conferencing for free and it’s been really nice (I scheduled 2 a day until 11/22. That is when the promotion ends. Doing it for 5.00 a visit is not bad considering a phone call costs almost 3.00 for 15 minutes. But 13.00 for a 20 min visit is ridiculous. That is 52.00 a month! I would much rather put that on his books… it just seems like every time I turn around it just costs MORE money. They are not punishing the incarcerated, they are punishing the parents, friends, and family members who are paying for all of this…

  3. Marty Hall says, 2 days, 2 hours after publication:

    Once again families that can least afford it are penalized.

  4. Arizona Justice: The very strange case of Patrick Bearup | spotlightonlaw says, 2 weeks, 1 day after publication:

    […] https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2014/11/10/sheriff-joe-phases-out-in-person-visits/ […]

  5. Arizona Justice: The very strange case of Patrick Bearup (Nov. 26) – spotlightonlaw 2 says, 1 year, 3 months after publication:

    […] https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2014/11/10/sheriff-joe-phases-out-in-person-visits/ […]

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